MANILA, Nov. 22, 2016 – The Philippines was represented during the beatification rites of Blessed Fr. Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus at the Parc de Expositions in Avignon France last Saturday, Nov. 19.
Infanta Bishop Bernardino Cortes led the delegation together with Daet Bishop Emeritus Benjamin Almoneda. Fr. Aldrin Lopez and the Ladies Branch superior Juliet Garan led the Notre Dame de Vie Institute congregation.
Representing Pope Francis, Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presided over the beatification rites.
Infanta, Quezon was one of the places Blessed Fr. Marie-Eugene visited in the Philippines. Established in 1950, the Roman Catholic Territorial Prelature of Infanta was headed by three Carmelite bishops in succession. Cortes was once Auxiliary Bishop of Manila prior to his appointment as the first non-Carmelite ordinary of Infanta.
Blessed Fr. Marie-Eugene visited Carmelite convents nationwide during the 1960s and presided over the corner-stone laying of what is known today as the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Broadway, Quezon City.
Formerly known as Henri Grialou, Blessed Fr. Marie-Eugene wrote books about Carmelite saints and the assimilation of prayer and action into ordinary life.
He is credited for founding the Notre Dame de Vie Institute in 1932 with Marie Pila, which later grew into a secular institute of laypersons, priests, and married couples across five continents.
Before he died in 1967, now Blessed Fr. Marie-Eugene was provincial of the Carmelite monasteries in Avignon-Aquitaine in Southern France. Today, his institute of laypersons in the Philippines runs schools and charitable institutions.
It was Pope Benedict XVI who proclaimed him Venerable in 2011 and earlier this year, Pope Francis approved the inexplicable healing of a child, which was attributed to his intercession. (Melo M. Acuña / CBCPNews)